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Tips on Naming and Branding an Appraisal Business

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Metamorphic

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Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I'm figuring I ought to use some of the down time I have to start crafting an appraisal business.

I wanted to solicit advice on choosing a name.

I know a lot of people go with the standard "John Doe Appraisals", but I dont really like that for a variety of reasons; it sounds small time, if you are ever in a situation where you're working with other appraisers, anytime a client is dealing with them they know they're not dealing with the boss, etc.

If you have a great idea for a business name you thought of 5 minutes after you ordered cards and stationary I'd love to hear it. Any pitfalls to avoid, things you wish you'd thought of etc.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I started to use A1, but all day long I thought about grilling out and that just made me hungry.
My other choices: Target, Bulls Eye, Guaranteed, On Spot, Right Value, Reachable, LSI, BOA, and AAA Appraisals were all taken. So I just decided to use our family name since we have multiple generations in the RE biz.
 

Scott Lanz

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Minnesota
My old company was called Nordic Appraisal (Northern Minnesota). I loved the name.

I now operate under my personal name, LLC.

One thing I would consider is the spelling and potential web address. There is nothing worse than:

"Hey Mr. Client, e-mail me at [email protected]"
 

Lawrence R.

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
South Carolina
How about 24 hour appraisals?

Comp check valuation service?

Make the value incorporated?

If i could do it over,


24 hour comp check hot line network would be my new name.

Or how about Make it happen appraisal service? I like that one.
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Seems to me that your NAME is the brand. Thats what you want to get out, and hopefully remembered in a positive light.
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
How about 24 hour appraisals?

Comp check valuation service?

Make the value incorporated?

If i could do it over,


24 hour comp check hot line network would be my new name.

Or how about Make it happen appraisal service? I like that one.

You forgot Skippy Appraisals. With THAT name it would "spread" faster.
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
An appraisal business is a personal service. Even if you eventually have employees, you will want the business to come to YOU rather than the employee. I would keep your name in it. Also, if you use a ficticious name, you will have to open a commercial bank account, file a DBA with the county (which could trigger personal property taxes), let your state appraisal board know the fictious name, etc etc etc.
 

c w d

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Any materials distributed to potential clients should have a specially watermarked target symbol on the paper not seen by the unaided eye. Distribute with UV light with instructions to see the "special" offer.

Seriously though just pick a name. Names have little to do with one's success in this business. Come to think of it it's the same with ethics, professionalism and quality work. But, I digress. The company I work for put in a sizable phone book add. That seems to have attracted several personal appraisals on its own. I would not spend any money on embossed pens, stress toys, gimmicks, etc. Your clients don't care about that crap and they have 100 other pens from 100 other companies. Do you think they actually pick up a pen when they need someone? Hell no. I believe advertisement is important, however. But, it needs to be effective. You need to get your name out there. Unfortunately, for mortgage appraisals most of your clients are nationally located so unless you have a sizable advert. budget it's all kind of pointless. If you want to advertise locally you could try your local cable tv company as I hear it's more affordable than one thinks initially.

The conundrum is who do you market to. Do you try to go after quality clients or do you stick it out in the mortgage appraisal realm. If it's the latter then just sign yourself up on as many AMC lists as you can. No advertising necessary. They don't care who you are, where you come from, your qualifications or education. If you're interested in the quality clients then you'll want to advertise to individual home owners, lawyers, ERC companies, etc. Supposedly, according to some of our esteemed fellows, there is a sizable market with these individuals. The company I work for hasn't been able to attract enough of that kind of business to prove it. Of those customers we have attracted their imperative has always been value value value so it's more of the same in my experience.

If I were you Metamorphic, you seem like a bright guy, don't try to open a business yet. Instead, go after a general certification. Spend your time and effort obtaining what you need to get into the commercial realm if you're set on staying in the appraisal profession. In my opinion it's the only way anyone is going to make it as an appraiser and we can expect in the not to distant future that residential appraisals will just become one more product of a commercial shop anyway.
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
If you "absolutely MUST" pick a DBA (fictitious name) try to find one that will put you at the top of the list in the phone book. Aardvark Appraisals, or AAA Appraisals. If you use Zealot Appraisals or Zebra......you will be the last name selected by an inexperienced caller.
 

Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I like ARC Appraisal, Inc.

A for Accuracy
R for Reliability
C for Communication

Not only does it satisfy Mike's top of the phone book list, it also sounds geometical, heavenly, and precise all at the same time. Plus, with a rainbow connotation, it says "high reaching", too.

Also, I am in a Christian fundamentalist area where a good portion of the churched folk can't spell too well. They might mistake it for something biblical and start hiring me regularly.
 
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